first lessons

I have to say it's exciting learning that you're wrong, especially when 'wrong' refers to completely skipping over something because you might not enjoy it.  For me, that's like oil painting. 

After listening to me kvetch about how I never have time to attend classes, and knowing that I want to be a landscape artist, husband found one to mentor me.  Technically speaking, he's actually teaching me since I've never had a class in beginning painting.  And. he's an oil painter.

I had, early on, discounted the idea of oil painting, assuming that it was 1) messy, 2) would trigger huge asthma attacks, 3) was messy, and 4) I can't paint wet-on-wet.  

I'm amazed to find that it's not smelly, especially since there's something called "odorless paint thinner," and since I wear gloves and a smock, it's not messy at all.  In face, it's easier to clean up because it doesn't dry in 30 seconds, like acrylics, ruining whatever it touches.  Including, for instance, brushes.  

Required reading is John Carlson and Kevin McPherson.  My teacher, Tom Blazier, has so much knowledge to teach me that it makes my brain hurt.  But so it is, that at some point, I had to actually put paintbrush to canvas.  

the first lesson was all about planning a painting, and laying in the big shapes. 

This is the photo.  

This was taken during the 20-miler at Old Cascadia Trail Run, at approximately the third hump in this elevation profile.

Step 1: Shapes and values.  Here's my sketch.

I took the liberty of changing up this picture, making clumps of pine trees rather than a single wall; there will be something done in the foreground to create a path for the eye to move through towards the opening in the trees.

Next step was to mix some values and hues.  Now, this is an iphone picture, so the color isn't exactly on well, I had already gone in and put in some relief in the distant mountains.

Now what is that weird wall between the first two mountains?  Oh, that has to go.  

This one is still in progress.

So while working on another painting, I also had another "a-ha" moment, at least for me: things are not just the color they are.  They are the color they are relative to the color next to them.  

My oil painting mentor has been trying to teach this to me but I just haven't been getting it, until I started on my next painting.